Review: Copa Club Panama Airport Terminal 2

Review: Copa Club Panama Airport Terminal 2

NAME: Copa Club
Airport: PTY
DATE: September 2022
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: The new Copa Club Panama Terminal 2 is physically beautiful, with a great design and lots of amenities. Unfortunately the lounge has awful food, and gets very crowded.
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Copa Airlines’ hub recently got a huge overhaul. The airport’s new Terminal 2 has opened, which is a massive improvement over the old terminal. As part of this, the airline also has a new flagship Copa Club in Terminal 2, which I was looking forward to checking out.

What’s my take? Well, it’s physically a beautiful lounge, and a massive improvement over the old one. It’s also nice that it’s open to Priority Pass members. However, the food & drink selection leaves a lot to be desired, and this lounge gets ridiculously crowded.

Copa Club Panama location & hours

The new Copa Club Panama is located airside in Terminal 2. Copa’s check-in facility at the airport is gorgeous, and there’s even a Star Alliance Gold Track, for expedited security and immigration.

Copa Airlines check-in Panama Airport (PTY) Terminal 2
Copa Airlines Gold Track Panama Airport (PTY) Terminal 2

Once through passport control and security, turn left, and you’ll see the escalator and elevator leading up to the lounge.

Copa Club Panama Terminal 2 escalators
Copa Club Panama Terminal 2 elevators

The lounge is open daily from 5:30AM until 9PM. By the time the lounge actually opened, there must have been several dozen people in line waiting to get in, including some passengers arriving on Copa Airlines flights that had landed early.

Copa Club Panama entry requirements

First and foremost, the Copa Club Panama is open to Copa Airlines premium passengers. All business class passengers, as well as Star Alliance Gold members, have access to the Copa Club.

On top of that, this acts as a contract lounge for other airlines serving the airport, including Air France, Eurowings Discover, Iberia, KLM, and Turkish Airlines, among others. Lastly, the lounge is open to Priority Pass members, and that’s available through many premium credit cards.

The lounge has a nice entrance with a “green wall” behind reception. Interestingly there are two different queues to enter the lounge — one for Copa Airlines business class and Star Alliance Gold passengers, and one for those entering the lounge through other means. That’s kind of smart, since the process of entering as an eligible Copa passenger is much faster.

Copa Club Panama reception

Copa Club Panama seating & layout

The Copa Club Panama Terminal 2 is 1,925 square meters (~20,000 square feet), so it’s a good size. It has a capacity of 420 guests, and frankly it felt like it was approaching capacity for much of my stay.

Just inside the entrance to the lounge was a help desk, in case you need assistance with travel. Across from that was the departures board, as well as a quote on the wall from Rubén Blades.

Copa Club Panama service desk
Copa Club Panama entrance & departures board

The lounge has several distinct areas. Inside the entrance and to the left was more of your traditional lounge seating, with rows of chairs facing one another, and also some seats with side tables. Honestly, the design is quite thoughtful, between the plants and the light fixtures.

Copa Club Panama seating
Copa Club Panama seating
Copa Club Panama seating
Copa Club Panama seating
Copa Club Panama seating
Copa Club Panama seating
Copa Club Panama seating
Copa Club Panama seating
Copa Club Panama seating
Copa Club Panama seating

Further into the lounge is the dining area, which has quite a few tables, most of which seat two people (if only there were decent food to eat!).

Copa Club Panama seating
Copa Club Panama seating
Copa Club Panama seating
Copa Club Panama bar area

The lounge then also has a large indoor terrace, looking out over the terminal. The bar opens up both to the interior of the lounge, as well as to the terrace. While the terrace was large, this seemed to be the part of the lounge that was least utilized.

Copa Club Panama terrace
Copa Club Panama terrace
Copa Club Panama terrace view
Copa Club Panama terrace
Copa Club Panama terrace

I appreciated that outlets were readily available throughout the lounge, making it easy to charge (which is necessary, because many Copa planes don’t have power outlets, even in business class). The lounge also had good signage, and had several small art displays throughout.

Copa Club Panama lounge signage
Copa Club Panama art
Copa Club Panama art

Copa Club Panama business center

The Copa Club Panama had a pretty nice business center, which is a feature I appreciated, given how much time I spent in the lounge. The business center had over a dozen workstations, with partitions between them.

Copa Club Panama business center
Copa Club Panama business center

There was also a single PC, as well as a printer.

Copa Club Panama printer & PC

My favorite amenity, though, were the four fully enclosed private offices. The one at the far end was the biggest, so that’s where I spent my entire day. While I wish there would have been some natural light, this was an awesome place to work from during the day, given that it was quiet and spacious. If you can snag one of these, I’d highly recommend it.

Copa Club Panama cubicles

Copa Club Panama entertainment room

The Copa Club Panama has an entertainment room. The room had a dozen chairs and a big media console, for those who want to watch TV.

Copa Club Panama media room
Copa Club Panama media room
Copa Club Panama media room

Copa Club Panama quiet room

The Copa Club Panama also had a quiet room, featuring six seats. The seats were pre-reclined a bit and had an ottoman — this isn’t an ideal place to actually sleep, but it is a good place to rest.

Copa Club Panama quiet area

Copa Club Panama family room

The Copa Club Panama has a family room, which will probably be appreciated by both those with and without kids. 😉 The room was basic — there weren’t any toys, but rather it just had small tables for kids, as well as some TVs.

Copa Club Panama kids play room

Copa Club Panama luggage storage

The Copa Club Panama features a luggage storage area near the entrance. There were a dozen lockers that could be locked with a code, while the rest of the storage area consisted of open cubbies. That latter option doesn’t exactly seem like a safe place to leave belongings, but…

Copa Club Panama luggage storage

Copa Club Panama food & drinks

Physically the Copa Club Panama is great. The food selection is unfortunately a different story, though. For starters, the lounge has a single buffet, which isn’t sufficient. Most guests here seem to be hungry, so the below buffet isn’t big enough for a lounge with up to 420 guests.

Copa Club Panama buffet

The food selection was downright pitiful, probably the worst I’ve seen in a carrier’s “flagship” lounge.

For breakfast, there were stale bagels and cream cheese, pan bon, yogurt, fruit, cereal, granola, and oatmeal.

Copa Club Panama breakfast buffet
Copa Club Panama breakfast buffet
Copa Club Panama breakfast buffet
Copa Club Panama breakfast buffet

Lunch consisted of a few kinds of (not very appealing) finger sandwiches, three types of veggies, ranch dressing, hummus, bread, chips, and cookies.

Copa Club Panama lunch buffet
Copa Club Panama lunch buffet
Copa Club Panama lunch buffet
Copa Club Panama lunch buffet

I can’t even begin to describe the extent to which people congregated at the buffet like vultures. They couldn’t replace the food fast enough, and suffice it to say the hygiene standards left a bit to be desired (people sneezing over the buffet, people picking their nose and then using the shared serving utensils, etc.).

It’s sad when the below is roughly the best lunch plate you can make yourself…

Copa Club Panama lunch

As far as drinks go, the lounge had a self serve machine with soft drinks and water.

Copa Club Panama drink station

There was also a Nescafe machine, as well as some Lipton tea.

Copa Club Panama drink station
Copa Club Panama drink station

There was a second self-serve drink station in another part of the lounge.

Copa Club Panama drink station

Alcoholic drinks were available from a bartender, but the selection was quite limited.

Copa Club Panama bathrooms & showers

The Copa Club Panama had bathrooms in the back of the lounge. For the men’s restroom, there were both stalls and urinals.

Copa Club Panama bathroom
Copa Club Panama bathroom
Copa Club Panama bathroom

The lounge also had six shower suites, each of which had a sink, a toilet, and a walk-in shower. Copa has quirky rules about using these — you can only use the shower if you have a same day Copa flight of at least 4.5 hours. While the shower rooms looked pretty nice, I’ve heard that they have horrible ventilation, so get really hot.

Copa Club Panama showers
Copa Club Panama showers
Copa Club Panama showers
Copa Club Panama showers

Bottom line

The new Copa Club Panama Terminal 2 is physically beautiful, and a massive improvement over the old lounge. It’s a bright, airy, and modern lounge, and it has some decent amenities. Priority Pass members will also appreciate that this lounge is available through the program, so it’s pretty easy to access.

There are two major issues with the Copa Club Panama, though. For one, the food selection is abysmal. Don’t come to the lounge hungry, because you’ll be disappointed. The other issue — which isn’t surprising, given the Priority Pass participation — is that the lounge is packed throughout the day. Even during non-peak hours, there were almost no seats available in the lounge.

If you’ve visited the Copa Club Panama, what was your experience like?

Conversations (15)
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  1. Lieflat19 Member

    As usual, leave it to Panama to screw up. They could have something extremely nice but they half @$$ it. That food looks disgusting. Packed lounge with no place to sit, what is the point?! COPA SUCKS! They were such a good airline before but then a race to the bottom happened.

  2. Mila Guest

    Me and my daughter were there on September 3rd afternoon before a flight to Orlando and wasn't very full, we got decent drinks and places to seat but about the food, there was no variety
    The place is impressive and nice, we can access here because of my MC black card
    We liked it and will repeat when we would have the opportunity again

  3. Victor Guest

    Place looks beautiful... absolutely beautiful.
    My problem with this club is the food.
    It needs to improve big time

  4. Thomas Johnston Guest

    This is a great summary of the lounge and mirrors my own experience. Spectacular design but way too small to accommodate everyone who has access rights. The business class food on board is already embarrassingly mean on Copa and I was hoping this flagship lounge would be more exclusive and provide at least edible food - but it doesn’t. It’s unhygienic due to the over crowding and rush to get food if replenishments do arrive....

    This is a great summary of the lounge and mirrors my own experience. Spectacular design but way too small to accommodate everyone who has access rights. The business class food on board is already embarrassingly mean on Copa and I was hoping this flagship lounge would be more exclusive and provide at least edible food - but it doesn’t. It’s unhygienic due to the over crowding and rush to get food if replenishments do arrive. I queued for 15 minutes to be served at the bar on my last visit and the overall experience is so bad I didn’t even bother going on my last transit as I find it an unpleasant experience.

  5. Andy Diamond

    On my recent connection through Panama, I arrived and departed from T1. It was a short connection, but it worked well. However, I didn't have time to go to T2. I briefly visited the (old) T1 lounge, though, which will continue to be in operation. It was more enjoyable than previously, definitely not overcrowded and food selection improved (same as you show in T2).

  6. Jerry Diamond

    "My favorite amenity, though, were the four fully enclosed private offices. The one at the far end was the biggest, so that’s where I spent my entire day"

    I know you didn't act with malice, but I think this is poor form in a lounge today. Lot's of people need to be on Zoom calls, often on video, and this is a great place to get this done. We all prefer to work in quiet,...

    "My favorite amenity, though, were the four fully enclosed private offices. The one at the far end was the biggest, so that’s where I spent my entire day"

    I know you didn't act with malice, but I think this is poor form in a lounge today. Lot's of people need to be on Zoom calls, often on video, and this is a great place to get this done. We all prefer to work in quiet, but it's always frustrating to me when I actually have a need to take a video call, and I see an enclosed office space occupied by someone who doesn't actually need the privacy, they're just more comfortable having it. I wish lounges would allow you to reserve these spaces so their utility is maximized.

  7. DLPTATL Diamond

    The food is really sad. They don't even have the snack towers of sadness from the old AA lounges. I'm surprised by how little of the food is pre-packaged (though given the comments on hygiene I think they should reconsider). In other clubs in LatAm it seams like they love everything in individual packages, like a vending machine turned inside-out.

  8. Andrew Diamond

    As son as I saw the words "Priority Pass", I knew it was over. Spectacular-looking facility, though.

  9. Bob Guest

    The shower access rules actually make a little bit of sense - given the location there's probably quite a number of people that have been at a beach or other outdoor activity before coming to airport, and so a lot of demand for showers. Makes sense to have some limits.

    1. TheBestBlackBrent Gold

      This actually makes zero sense. Like they: all pax must have come from the jungle because it is Panama?

      Nice decor, horrible food. I truly do not get why a flag carrier would crowd their signature lounge with Priority Pass members and all, such an odd choice.

  10. Jack Guest

    That food looks disgusting. United Clubs look better there.

  11. Jeff Guest

    The Copa Club in Bogota looks very similar, though significantly smaller than at PTY. I wanted to check this lounge at Terminal 2 out since it looks beautiful. But yeah, the food and overcrowding is a turn off.

    1. Kendall Guest

      I’ve always thought the Copa lounge in Bogota is actually nicer than the (old) flagship lounge in PTY, in my opinion. Which seems very bizarre.

      Glad to see they’ve made some facility improvements, but I’ll still be avoiding layovers in Panama based on this review.

  12. Michael Guest

    I feel its the same at the Guayaquil International VIP lounge, accessible via priority pass. Beautiful lounge, nice décor, but finger foods/soups as the food selection? Pretty poor. I don't understand, are lounges still using COVID as a crutch? "For our safety" we get plastic wrapped finger foods and fruit? Admirals Clubs have better food offerings honestly.

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Jerry Diamond

"My favorite amenity, though, were the four fully enclosed private offices. The one at the far end was the biggest, so that’s where I spent my entire day" I know you didn't act with malice, but I think this is poor form in a lounge today. Lot's of people need to be on Zoom calls, often on video, and this is a great place to get this done. We all prefer to work in quiet, but it's always frustrating to me when I actually have a need to take a video call, and I see an enclosed office space occupied by someone who doesn't actually need the privacy, they're just more comfortable having it. I wish lounges would allow you to reserve these spaces so their utility is maximized.

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Kendall Guest

I’ve always thought the Copa lounge in Bogota is actually nicer than the (old) flagship lounge in PTY, in my opinion. Which seems very bizarre. Glad to see they’ve made some facility improvements, but I’ll still be avoiding layovers in Panama based on this review.

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Lieflat19 Member

As usual, leave it to Panama to screw up. They could have something extremely nice but they half @$$ it. That food looks disgusting. Packed lounge with no place to sit, what is the point?! COPA SUCKS! They were such a good airline before but then a race to the bottom happened.

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